Several statements were made in the Riksdag debate on foreign policy on Wednesday. Here is a summary of the key issues:
- Interstate aggression in the east and collapsed states in the south will lead to increased tensions in our vicinity, increased flows of refugees, and a growing proportion of our population with painful memories of war and conflict.
- Sweden’s EU membership has made our voice more powerful and the EU must stay united in its response to developments in Russia and Ukraine.
- The United Nations needs to be strengthened and reinstated in Swedish security policy. This will likely mean intensified Swedish participation in UN missions. Sweden will also run a serious candidacy for the UN Security Council.
- Genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes must be combated and punished. Sweden will also continue to fight international terrorism.
- Sweden will continue to push for women’s rights, combat gender-based violence and stand for gender equality in its foreign policy.
The statement can be read in full here.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström (S), is the only minister in the government who actually wields power, writes Göran Eriksson in Svenska Dagbladet. However, argues Eriksson, Wallström’s recognition of Palestine has greatly injured Sweden’s relations with Israel. “Although the Swedish government has said it aims for equally good relations with both sides in the conflict, confidence in Sweden has without doubt plummeted in Israel,” he writes.
Meanwhile, Europaportalen reports that there are about thirty references to EU cooperation in the Statement on Foreign Policy, significantly more than to the UN. “I have been a European Commissioner for over ten years and just presented a foreign policy statement in which we clearly indicate that we are connected to the EU and will act through the EU”, said Wallström on the matter.